Genesaret: a training space for former inmates and people from the LGBT + community

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The Fe y Alegría popular education center provides comprehensive and job training for people who complete a sentence in the Penitentiary Service and the LGBT + Collective. They seek financing for sustainable projects. Some 40 people were accompanied in the process.

In the heart of the Capital, a few steps from the Aldo Cantoni Stadium, a white house with the scent of fresh jasmine, where the TV is silent, but the sound of laughter and the whispers of those who talk and train, between sewing machines, you can perceive from the sidewalk.

On Fridays, the aroma of freshly baked food accompanies the laughter of those who learn and re-learn to cook in the “salty kitchen” workshop. It is the Genesaret house, where, together with the Alegría Foundation, some 40 people are trained for working life and social reintegration.

At the end of November there will be an educational fair where the works of the different workshops will be exhibited.

In this place, which they call “home”, inmates of the Penitentiary Service, who find themselves with temporary exits or who are recovering their freedom, find a space for comprehensive training in search of a horizon that allows them to continue their life in society.

Fe y Alegría is a popular education center, which began its work in 2017 in the San Juan Penitentiary Service, offering trade workshops for women and in 2019 they began work in the Genesaret Center, for people with probation where inmates joined men and the community of the LGBT + Collective.

“Creating work habits, responsibility and socialization, makes people take a course. And having a horizon allows them to choose a type of life every morning ”explained Ivanna Gric.

“I began to work as a volunteer for the prison ministry, accompanying with catechesis. There I found a high percentage of women who could not read, a reading workshop was started. But then I realized that the people who left returned to a worse situation than they had when they entered because they do not have an education and suffered a process of vulnerability in jail. So it was necessary to carry out education and training workshops for the inmates, ”says Fabiola Lara, representative of Fe y Alegría.

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The work in the Penitentiary Service began with laborterapia and gradually expanded to training workshops such as sewing and lingerie, where they even made lingerie for cancer patients at the Marcial Quiroga Hospital and hairdresser among others. These trainings continue and expand at Casa Genesaret, with a vision of sustainability.

“At the Genesaret Center, we work with volunteers in the integrality of the person. Because job training, they can get it anywhere or even a little monkey, but the burden of life of most of our students is strong, so they work from the integrality of their being, since they require answers at the height of their experiences. So we work on job skills, but also on all facets as a person, the social, the intellectual, the personal, the spiritual, among other things ”, Fabiola remarks.

Training and job projection
Currently about 40 people are trained in different workshops such as gastronomy, computing, aesthetics and sewing.

The salty kitchen and for celiacs is one of the most striking and they even already have 4 advanced students who are working on personal and group entrepreneurship projects.

“With these workshops, the population of students has been expanding, not only is it the prison population, but also those who have contact with them or their families. The diversity group also brings people who are from common society, who have situations of vulnerability, such as single women, who have had family difficulties ”, explains Ivanna Gric, an entrepreneur at the Genesaret Center.

“In our workshops there is a true integration, we are all the same and it does not matter where we come from or what situation we are in. We can share information and aspects of our lives, where we can also propose projects in common and in this way guide a life project ”, he says.

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In the development of the ventures, the referents explain that there are already groups that are in a position to start their work projects, which is why they began ties with the Industrial Union of the Province of San Juan. Along this path, they also seek to build bridges between different businesses and companies to obtain financial support that allows the completion of projects.

Having the support of companies will allow achieving the second stage of the life project process that allows students to create their work horizons in a sustained way over time and the maintenance of the Genesaret center.
“Genesaret is a home, it is a house, where we all contribute and collaborate with what we can. Ultimately, we all grow and train, we educate ourselves in the human, “closed Gric

How to collaborate
The representatives of the Centro Genesaret and Fe y Alegría can be contacted through social networks both on Facebook as Centro Genesaret and on Instagram as Fe y Alegría San Juan.


“What I like the most about the center is the cordiality with which they receive us. Apart from teaching us things, we can share, they listen to us and we meet people. Here I got to know myself a little more ”. Tati Quinto

“I arrived at the Center for a colleague, I am finishing cooking and I did the computer and entrepreneur workshop. It is something very nice, because I am on the way to start a gastronomic project and I have high expectations with anxiety. The Center is a place where we feel refugees, we are family ”. Marcela arce

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“This year was complicated by the pandemic, without work, personal losses and Fabiola brought me to the center to cook salty cuisine. Genesaret is a house, not only is it sharing things where we are working but it provides a space of containment where beautiful themes come out, where the variety of lives we have does not allow us to contain ourselves and respect ourselves ”. Rosa Paez

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